Senegal: Language and Diversity


This curriculum unit, although designed for an eighth grade middle school course, can be altered for various grade and age levels. The focus of this unit is the dominant and dominated languages in Senegal, how globalization influences the position of these languages, and how language affects education, literacy, society, and government.


  1. Familiarize students with contents of the artifact box and have students draw conclusions about Senegalese society based on their experience with the objects.
  2. Ask students to identify the official, national, and other recognized languages in Senegal. Discuss historical development and outside influences that shape language.
  3. Demonstrate the use of the dominant and official language (French) and the dominant African language (Wolof) in Senegalese society and associated problems.
  4. Have students use words in French, Wolof, Pulaar, Serer, and Mandinka to speak, write, and converse within own language groups and among language groups.
  5. Ask students to:
    1. Evaluate their experience in communication in their group and between groups;
    2. Make inferences and draw conclusions about the situation and difficulties facing various ethno-linguistic groups in Senegal;
    3. Consider how globalization affects the power and influence of 1 or 2 dominant languages in Senegal?
    4. How do these experiences relate to the situation of dominant/dominated language in the United States?

About the author(s)

Michael Ruddy
The Roeper School

Location Information

Oakland Schools ISD,
2111 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford, MI 48328